As the coronavirus surges across the US, with 16,637 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, reported as of Friday, people are using Nextdoor, a social network for local communities, to offer help, service, and humor to help each other get through the plague.
In one post, titled “Take a Roll, Leave a Roll,” one Nextdoor user offered to help people without sufficient supply by creating an exchange in a bin outside their house. “Obviously this is not for stocking up, but take a roll or two to get you through until you find a store that has it in stock,” the user said. “Have extra at your house? Swing by and drop some off. :) Neighbors helping neighbors.”
Jenn Takahashi, who runs @bestofnextdoor, which routinely skewers Nextdoor users, provided the toilet paper screenshot to BuzzFeed News. Despite having seen people freak out as well, the posts have touched her.
“It’s so inspiring,” Takahashi said. “To me, it’s super uplifting. And to see that domino effect of other people being inspired by these posts and doing it for their own communities is just the best thing ever.”
Since the pandemic began, submissions to @bestofnextdoor are up double or triple the usual amount, she said, and 95% of them are related to the coronavirus.
“The time for joining Nextdoor is now, when the power of proximity means everything,” Jenny Mayfield, Nextdoor’s head of communications, told BuzzFeed News. “Nextdoor was built to bring neighbors together — this is important in good times and essential in times of need. It has been remarkable to see people across the globe reaching out to their neighbors on Nextdoor with kindness and offers of help.”
Another post Takahashi shared was by a landlord who decreased rent by $200 per unit and encouraged other landlords to do the same.
“Look, we all need each other at every level in our society and we all are impacted by this horrible health virus and its economic impact that cuts a wide swath through our community,” the landlord said. “I don't want a pat on the back or a medal on my chest. What I do want is to challenge every other landlord and property owner that reads this post to consider LOWERING the rent for your tenants.”
In other cases, people are simply offering to get groceries for seniors.
And then there were people offering to Venmo their neighbors money, straight up, no questions asked.
Finally, some neighbors are plotting what they’ll sing together if and when they get shut in their houses together.